University of Minnesota Law School professor Francesco Parisi thought he’d met the right woman outside his condo in September 2014. That night, he and Morgan Wright had sex and began a relationship that would end with lawsuits and accusations that would leave the professor’s life in shambles.
Early in the relationship, Parisi and Wright entered into a real estate venture that would partition off part of the professor’s condo for his lover to use as a studio, Fox 9 reported. The deal fell apart and legal proceedings began, which would take place “over the next year as Parisi tried to evict Wright from the property,” the outlet reported.
In June 2016, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Wright’s eviction. Just days later, Fox 9 reported, she went to the Minneapolis Police Department and claimed Parisi had raped her on January 22, 2015 – 18 months before her eviction was withheld.
Wright had never previously made any such allegations in all the court filings between the couple, which included requests for restraining orders. Now she claimed that 18 months earlier, Parisi “had anally raped her, smashing her face into a concrete floor,” Fox 9 reported. She also claimed “the attack left her with three broken teeth, a prolapsed rectum, and a damaged colon.”
As Fox 9 reported, there “was no evidence, not even medical reports, or corroborating accounts from people she might’ve told about the attack.” Further, Wright claimed Parisi tried to run her over with his car in broad daylight in downtown Minneapolis.” Again, no evidence existed to back up her claim, and the accusation was “nearly identical to those she made a decade earlier against an ex-husband who is now deceased,” the outlet reported.
John Braun, Parisi’s attorney, told Fox 9 that a Minneapolis police officer Wright first told declined to send the case for prosecution. “Morgan Wright came back six months later and found another police officer and the whole thing started over again,” Braun said.
Despite a complete lack of evidence, Parisi was arrested and charged with raping Wright and trying to run her over. His bail was set at $500,000 and he spent three weeks in jail, missing his mother’s death. Parisi was released days after his mother died in his native Italy and the charges were dropped for lack of evidence. It didn’t matter, Parisi was already seen as guilty by many of his female law school students. “Enrollment in his classes dropped by 60 percent with some classes cancelled,” Fox 9 reported.
The Internet still is loaded with articles about the allegations as if they are true. “Even after those charges were dropped, people Google my name and only see a professor accused of so many crimes,” Parisi told Fox 9.
Parisi eventually sued for defamation. It was discovered that Wright told many, many more lies than previously thought.
“She lied about having a degree in music from Julliard, about being a doctor, and having other advanced degrees,” Fox 9 reported. “She has also claimed her father was former U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskhold, who was a bachelor, likely gay, and died in a plane crash. She even adopted his name. And while Wright claims to be destitute and on disability for a seizure disorder, she lives in a luxury downtown condo and is known to drive a Mercedes convertible.”
Parisi, despite winning a $1.2 million defamation suit, perhaps the largest in Minnesota history, is still marred by the false allegations.
“I used to be the popular guy at parties,” he told Fox 9. “I’m Italian, I bring the good wine. I don’t get so many invitations now.”